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Saint Patrick's Day and it's History

Updated on April 16, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day and it's History

Saint Patrick's Day is named after Saint Patrick[circa AD 387-461] he was the most recognized patron Saint in Ireland. On the 17th day of March we will celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. Did you know that Saint Patrick's Day is a religious holiday? Well it is. It began as a Catholic holiday and then in early 17th century it became an official feast day. It has become more of a secular celebration of the Ireland culture. Although it is still celebrated in the United States as well. 

In the following areas it is a public holiday. 

Republic of Ireland,Northern Ireland,Newfoundland,Labradon and Montserrat. It is widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora in Great Britain,Canada,United States,New Zealand,Australia,Argentina and Montserrat among many others.


Saint Patrick was born in the 4th century in Roman Britain to a wealthy Roman British family. His Grandfather and his Father were church deacons. When he was just 16 years old,he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. Irish Raiders were the known kidnappers of Patrick. The exact location where they held him is unknown. Some believe that he was possibly being held in Mayo. He was told by God in a dream,to flee Mayo and return to Britain by a boat. This is what he told in confession when he returned to Britain. When he returned to Britain he joined the church in Gaul and studied to become a Priest. He said he was called back to Ireland in 432,to Christianize Irish people from their native polytheism. As told by common folklore they said he used the Shamrock to help explain Trinity to the Irish people.

He died on March 17th 461 after nearly 30 years of evangelism. According to tradition he was laid to rest at Down Patrick. Patrick is held in esteem by the Irish Church. He endured as the main character of Irish Christianity. 

The original color associated with Saint Patrick was not green it was blue. With the association with Saint Patrick's Day the color changed to green. As early as the 17th century Shamrocks and green ribbons were worn to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. Since Saint Patrick used the Shamrock to teach about the Trinity,the tradition began to catch on. In 1798 Irish soldiers wore green uniforms to try and make a political statement,on March 17th in hopes of catching the publics attention. The wearing of the green,meaning to wear the Shamrock,get's it's name from a song of the same name. The Shamrock is the reason that we wear green to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.

In the ninth and tenth centuries,Saint Patrick's Day was being celebrated in Europe. Saint Patrick later became known as the patron of Ireland. In the early 1600's Saint Patrick's feast day was placed on the liturgical calendar,all because of Waterford born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding. After this Saint Patrick's Day became a holy celebration of obligation in Ireland for Roman Catholics. If Saint Patrick's Day falls on the same day as a Salem unties day such as Palm Sunday,then the day is celebrated at a different time. This happened in 1940 and in 2008. In 1940 it was celebrated on April 3rd. In 2008 it was celebrated on March 14th. Although the secular celebration still took place on March 17th. Saint Patrick's Day will not fall again on Holy week until 2160.

Saint Patrick's Day becomes and official holiday in 1903. It was reviewed by the Minister of Defense Desmond Fitzgerald. The holiday remains a religious observance for both the Church of Ireland and to the Roman Catholic Church. Ireland was showcased at it's culture in 1990 to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day and it's culture. The Government set up a group called St. Patrick's Festival with the aim to. -Show St. Patrick's Day as one of the greatest Festivals in the world. Plus promote excitement through out Ireland via innovation. -For people to join in and attend the celebrations. -To promote Ireland as a creative sophisticated professional Country with new appeal as we approached the Millennium The first festival was held on March 17th 1996. In 1997 it was a 3 day event. By 2000 it had become a 4 day celebration. In 2006,the celebration had become a 5 days long,with more than 675,000 people attended the parade in 2009. The 5 day festival had close to one million visitors that attended. With outdoor concerts and events,including fireworks.

Christian leaders from Ireland have expressed their concern about the secularization of Saint Patrick's Day. In the Word Magazines in March 2007 issue. Fr. Vincent Twomey wrote."It's time to reclaim St. Patrick's Day as a Church festival." He questioned the need for "Mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry" and said that it is time to bring the piety and fun together.

Saint Patrick's Day is however celebrated in the United States by the Irish and non Irish. It is one of the busiest days for bars and restaurants. Many people wear green clothing items. Traditionally if you are not wearing green,you get pinched affectionately. 

Have a great Saint Patrick's Day.

kittythedreamer 

Hi, Rhonda. Wonderful write-up! My grandmother is full-blooded Irish and I believe her family came from County Cork, Ireland. She loves celebrating St. Patrick's Day and tells me that there was a story of Saint Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland...she claims that her relatives said they never saw a snake in Ireland because of Saint Patrick. I don't know if that is true, but it sure made for a good story when I was a kid! Thanks for sharing!

Comments

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  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks Londonlady for your most inspiring comment. I would be honored if you would link my hub to yours. I am glad you enjoyed my hub. Thanks again.

    Have a nice day.

  • Londonlady profile image

    Laura Writes 

    7 years ago

    This is actually really fascinating. I once wrote a hub on Valentine's Day and it's history. I think I'm going to go link your St. Patty's day hub into the Valentine's day one. Here's a link to mine if you want to see your link in there. Great hub, voted up! :)

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks MmaGoldie for your comment. I am glad you enjoyed my article. Thanks for dropping by my hubs.

    Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day

  • GmaGoldie profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 

    7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    My great - great - grandmother Jane Kelley came from County Cork! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks Granny's house for your comment. I tried to give as much info as possible, and to make it a worth while read.

    Tell your mother-n-law Happy Birthday for me.

  • Granny's House profile image

    Granny's House 

    7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

    Fun hub. Thanks for all the info you have researched and added. My husband's mom's birthday is Saint Patty's Day

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Hi toknowinfo thanks for your comment. Nice to see you again.

    I am glad you enjoyed my hub. Yes it was an interesting

    fact about how blue was the original color.

    Have a great day.

  • toknowinfo profile image

    toknowinfo 

    7 years ago

    Hi Rhonda,

    Thanks for the well put together hub about this much celebrated day. Very interesting. How was blue originally associated with St. Patrick's Day? Rated up and useful.

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Hello AliciaC I appreciate your comment. I enjoy Saint Patty's Day. Everybody should go at least once in their life time,it is an awesome experience.

    Have a great Saint Patty'S Day

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    Thank you for an interesting look at Saint Patrick and his feast day. Saint Patrick’s day is not an official holiday where I live, but it's widely celebrated by people with Irish heritage and also by those without. I’m looking forward to this year’s celebration!

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Hi John thanks for your comment. Sounds like you have a great reason to celebrate Saint Patty's Day. I am glad you enjoyed my article. Your comments are always appreciated.

    Have a nice day.

  • John MacNab profile image

    John MacNab 

    7 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

    My grandfather was Irish, Rhonda. But in this part of Canada most people`s ancestors were either Scottish or Irish.

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks PenMePretty for your comment. I am glad you enjoyed my article on Saint Patty's Day. Your comment is always appreciated my friend. Beautiful picture,love it.

  • profile image

    PenMePretty 

    7 years ago from Franklin

    This is so informative and so so so well written. Thumbs up! Thanks for sharing the Green with me. :-)

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks KoffeeKlatch Gals for your comment. Yes there is much more to Saint Patty's Day than meets the eye. It is rich in history. Although I like the green beer too. Thanks for dropping by your comment is always appreciated.

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Rhonda, great history on St. Patrick. It is more that just drinking green beer, althought that's a fun thing to do on St. Patty's Day.

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks Katie for your comment. I am glad you enjoyed it. Your comment is always appreciated. Thanks for stopping by have a nice day.

  • katiem2 profile image

    katiem2 

    7 years ago from I'm outta here

    Awesome, gotta love St. Patricks Day and a very nice review of the history. Well Done! :) Katie

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks Qudsia for your comment. It is a very interesting story. Saint Patrick's Day is full of rich history and folklore. Thanks your comment is most appreciated.

    Have a great Saint Patrick's Day

  • QudsiaP1 profile image

    QudsiaP1 

    7 years ago

    I always did wonder about this story, thank you for sharing. :)

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks kittythedreamer for your wonderful comment. I heard the story about the snakes also. I added your caption about the snakes.I does make for a great story. Thanks for dropping by have a great ST. Patrick's Day.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 

    7 years ago from Summerland

    Hi, Rhonda. Wonderful write-up! My grandmother is full-blooded Irish and I believe her family came from County Cork, Ireland. She loves celebrating St. Patrick's Day and tells me that there was a story of Saint Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland...she claims that her relatives said they never saw a snake in Ireland because of Saint Patrick. I don't know if that is true, but it sure made for a good story when I was a kid! Thanks for sharing!

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks Russell-D for your comment. It sounds like you got some great memories of St. Patrick's Day. Saint Patrick's Day to you holds more special and wonderful memories. Congrats on being happy with your spouse for 54 wonderful years. Now,that is something to celebrate. Have a great anniversary. Many more years to come. Thanks for stopping by my hubs. Happy St. Pat's Day.

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks katrinasui for your comment. Yes,it is very rich in history. An this holiday is widely celebrated holiday. Thanks for your comment.

    Have a great Saint Patrick's Day.

  • Russell-D profile image

    Russell-D 

    7 years ago from Southern Ca.

    Most important about St. Pat's Day, is that it's my anniversary, having been married during a New York snowstorm which limited the guests and provided a wonderful cache of booze for years to come. That was 54 years ago. Since then, I've had the pleasure of many happy sharings of the green since. Even drank Green Beer a few times. Some celebrate the day for the religious significance, some for the fun. I celebrate it for the wonderful memories. David Russell

  • katrinasui profile image

    katrinasui 

    7 years ago

    I never knew about Saint Patrick;s day. Thanks for writing a hub on this topic.

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks prasetio30 for your comment. Yes, Saint Patrick's Day is rich in history. Eric is Roman Catholic and for me that is another reason to celebrate it. I am glad you enjoyed my article my friend. Thanks for stopping by.

    Have a great day.

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 

    7 years ago from malang-indonesia

    I never knew about Saint Patrick's Day. Thanks for share the history of Saint Patrick's Day. I got new knowledge from you. I like something about historical things. Good work, Rhonda. I give my vote to you.

    Love and peace,

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Hi Rosie that was a very delightful comment. I love Saint Paddy's Day as well. Eric is Roman Catholic so he is right up there with you. Thanks for the info on your family. Yes Eric says he has a direct path to heaven to. Happy Saint Paddy's Day to you too girl friend.

  • Rosie2010 profile image

    Rosie Rose 

    7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya my dear friend Rhonda, my late husband was Irish. He and his siblings were all born here in Canada but they are more Irish than their dad who was born in Ireland. St. Paddy's day is big here in Canada too, at least in Toronto. And yes, we try to wear green. We are all Irish on St. Paddy's day plus my Irish friends say that I am Irish by marriage so I have a direct path to heaven, just like them. Happy St. Patrick's Day! hugss

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • Rhonda Waits profile imageAUTHOR

    Rhonda Musch 

    7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Thanks WillStarr for your comment. Sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for the memories. Go out this year and start a New Saint Patrick's Day Tradition. Make some more great memories. Your comment is always appreciated.

    Have a great day.

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 

    7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    When Father O'Grady was our priest, our Bishop was Thomas O'Brien, and most of the nuns were from Ireland, we celebrated St. Patrick's day with a great Irish Hooley in the auditorium.

    We miss that tradition.

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